The aim of the study is to compare the outcomes of stem cell-enrichment fat grafting versus routine fat grafting for facial reconstruction purposes.
A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Guidelines and a search of electronic information was conducted to identify all randomized controlled trials, case control studies, and cohort studies comparing the outcomes of stem cell enrichment fat grafting versus routine fat grafting for facial reconstruction purposes. Volume retention and infection rate were primary outcome measures. Secondary outcome measures included patient satisfaction postsurgery, redness and swelling, fat necrosis, cysts, as well as operation time. Fixed and random effects modeling was used for the analysis.
Eight studies enrolling 275 subjects were selected. There was a significant difference between the stem cell enrichment fat grafting and routine grafting groups in terms of mean volume retention (standardized mean difference, 2.49; P < 0.00001). However, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups in the rate of infection (odds ratio, 0.36; P = 0.30). For all secondary outcomes, the intervention group had similar results compared with the control group except for the operation time, which was shorter in the latter.
Stem cell–enriched fat grafting is a superior option when compared with the routine fat grafting for facial reconstruction surgery because it improves the mean volume retention and does not worsen patient satisfaction and surgical complications.